Career & Technical Education Pathways
Differences Between Frameworks, Career Clusters, and Pathways
Frameworks support the continuous improvement of Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs because they are reviewed annually by program advisory committees and by program supervisors at OSPI. For many courses, OSPI offers a state model framework. More than a syllabus or other course outline, a framework is a guide and a tool that aligns National and Industry Standards to State Core Content Standards, Performance Assessments, Leadership, Employability, Relevance to Work and Thinking Skills all in one document. Frameworks provide an overview of the outcomes that students meet in the CTE course.
CTE classes fall into one of 16 "career clusters." A career cluster is a group of jobs and industries that are related by skills or products. Within each cluster, there are cluster "pathways" that correspond to a collection of courses and training opportunities to prepare students for a chosen career. The 16 clusters were established at the national level by the States' Career Clusters Initiative and are recognizable across the United States in middle schools, high schools, community and technical colleges, and the workforce. Each cluster has a page on this Web site and each contains information on careers, affiliated student leadership organizations, education and training options for high school graduates after high school, and other related student resources.